Monday, November 05, 2007

advancement placement social studies

After the party on Saturday we all jumped the Metro and headed to the Corcoran Gallery for the Ansel Adams and Annie Liebowitz exhibits (it was a two-for-one ticket purchase.) I skipped the Adams exhibit due to time constraints and spent my time in the Liebowitz rooms. I’ve read varying reviews on the show, it’s been to a few galleries before D.C., and a good many of the lay folk focus almost exclusively on the rock n’ roll aspect of her photography. There’s no doubt that her time at Rolling Stone influenced her ability to snag the famous people but it’s not always the actor/actress/singer/rocker subject that end up catching my attention. It’s a bit unfair to justify her success simply to the subject – she does have a great ability to bring us shots that show something much deeper in the eyes of the subjects. Her travel and world event photography is stunning (Rwanda, the Balkans) and deserves as much attention as the portraiture. My favorites from the exhibit were the Cash family (Johnny, June Carter, grandson, and Roseanne) on the porch of Johnny’s house (I know it’s rock n’ roll!); and the formal portraits of the Queen. I’m sure about the falling out she had with Elizabeth II during the shoot but the photo of the Queen in full regalia under a rolling sky is amazing. Another portrait that's frightening to me is the shot in the Oval Office from December 2001: Bush, Rumsfield, Card, Rice, Powell, Cheney, and Tenet. There's no way she said "say cheese" for this shot. It was probably more like "look normal" or "give me your jerk look". They all played along.

After the museum we walked north towards the Orange Line and a hopeful dinner. When heading north up 17th St. from the Corcoran you pass the Old Executive Office Building – that’s a picture up top, if you’re wondering. After a few hundred meters X turned to me and said, “that guy behind us just asked someone if that Old Office Building thingy was Victorian architecture. Can you believe that? What a wacko.” I looked back towards the building over my right shoulder, the sun setting, and thought, I’ve got no idea what kind of architecture that might be. What I say to her is, “What kind of fool! It’s amazing he can put one foot in front of the other and walk without falling over. Geez.” She then let me know that it’s clearly a Georgian building. Georgian! On Sunday morning I readdressed the architecture issue while we stared at a Victorian/Georgian building near DuPont Circle. What I’ve learned from her is this: if it looks like this picture, and it’s eatable, it’s Victorian.

This will someday earn you college credit on some exam. Thank me later.


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